Rose Valley ponzi scam: ED files charge sheet in Odisha
Bhubaneswar: Enforcement Directorate today filed a charge sheet in the multi-crore Rose Valley chit fund scam wherein thousands of people were cheated in West Bengal and Odisha.
The agency said it has filed a prosecution complaint (equivalent of charge sheet) pertaining to cases in Odisha under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before the Khurda sessions court cum special PMLA court here against the Chairman of the Rose Valley group of companies Gautam Kundu and others.
In the charge sheet, the agency has also requested the court to allow it to confiscate properties worth Rs 332 crore which it has already seized in the case.
“Kundu was primarily involved in illegal collection of deposits of Rs 475 crore from the public of Odisha with the false promise of high returns and subsequently laundered these funds by transferring the same to other shell companies founded by him,” the agency said.
Kundu was last year arrested by the agency under anti-money laundering laws in Kolkata and he is currently in judicial custody.
A charge sheet had earlier been filed by the ED before a a special court in Kolkata pertaining to the groups’ alleged ponzi operations in West Bengal.
The agency added it had scanned over 3000 bank accounts and succeeded in tracing and attaching Rs 332 crore cash lying in different bank accounts of Ms Rose Valley group of companies.
“This has been the biggest ever attachment of liquid cash by any government agency in the country,” it said.
The sources said the agency’s probe has detected that Kundu was the alleged “beneficial owner” of these tainted funds generated as proceeds of the chit fund scam.
It had, hence, registered a criminal FIR against the firm and its owners in 2014 under PMLA.
The ED, under criminal provisions of the PMLA, had earlier attached 2,631 bank accounts of the Rose Valley group containing Rs 295 crore.
The group had allegedly floated a total of 27 companies for running the alleged chit fund operations out of which only half-a-dozen were active.
It is alleged that the firm had floated the scheme by promising inflated returns on investments between 8 and 27 per cent to gullible investors in various states.
The company had allegedly promised astronomical returns to depositors on land properties and assets and bookings done in the real estate sector. It is alleged that the company had made “cross investments” in its various sister firms to suppress its liabilities towards investors.
SEBI had probed the company before ED and CBI registered cases against the group.
The ED has pegged the total volume of the alleged irregularities at Rs 15,000 crore.